Lewiston, ME
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4 College Freshman

Academics: An Economics major requires a lot of number crunching and critical thinking.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Professors are very very good

5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics at Bates are very rigorous. Most professors do a very good job keeping the work manageable and interesting however, so it rarely feels unbearable. The students are for the most part very academically inclined and hence very involved in their classes. Most students put in the work and this facilitates excellent in (and out) of class discussion.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Academics: Professors Are There to Teach – I love Bates because it is all undergrad and has a low student to faculty ratio, meaning the professors are pretty much always there to help you.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Understated, but Rigorous, Challenging and Enriching!!! Bates College academics are often shorted in comparison to its "higher ranked" (according to US NEWS) counterpart, Bowdoin, but many sibling comparisons have found that Bates offers more challenge with less inflation. Bates professors hold their students to a very high standard of discussion and critical thinking. The best part about academics at Bates is though all students are intelligent, they do not shove it down your throat. You can find yourself talking about last night's primetime television in Commons and then critiquing Kant's categorical imperatives. It is a nice "best-of-both-worlds" atmosphere that is reflected in the extremely approachable staff who all yield impressive resumes (often more impressive due to their young age). They are leaders in their field who chose Bates for many of the same reasons the students did: To enrich within a small, comfortable academic setting with a unpretentious atmosphere.

4 people found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 327th
    Smartest Professors
  • 380th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 400th
    Best Academic Advisers
  • 458th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 499th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jessie Sawyer
Farmington, CT
English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a Spanish minor
View all previous student authors

Bates professors tend to be outstanding. Most are experts in their fields, and they generally bring a high degree of enthusiasm to the classes they teach. There are certainly some who, because they are tenured, don’t care much about bringing new approaches to their courses, but most professors care very deeply about the subjects they’ve chosen to teach. On the whole, Bates professors are very approachable, and some are even open to receiving phone calls from overstressed students during the wee hours of the morning. The school’s small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratio ensure that students are able to develop close relationships with their professors if they choose to do so. This encourages an atmosphere of mutual respect—many professors will ask their students to call them by their first names, and often professors request that students aid them in research projects and other such endeavors. Because so many classes are small and discussion-oriented, students are often deeply involved in their courses.

Probably the biggest issue facing Bates academics at the moment is general education requirements. In order to graduate, students must fulfill these requirements, which, coupled with a student’s major requirements—most of which involve writing a senior thesis—can be very difficult for a student to complete. Compounding the problem is the fact that entry-level natural science courses are almost always over-enrolled—some by as many as 100 students. So, students who are taking courses simply to fulfill gen ed requirements compete for places with students who are taking the courses for their majors or because they’re genuinely interested in the subjects. Aside from the gen ed requirements, students have few complaints about classes and professors at Bates. The system may have a few flaws, but the professors and the courses offered are above average, to say the least.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Transfer-Out Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 67%
  • 20 to 49 students: 29%
  • 50 or more students: 4%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
Bachelor's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Economics and Econometrics: 4%
  • History, General: 5%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 5%
  • Psychology: 5%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Ladd Library
  • Pettengill Hall (study areas and department lounges)
  • The Ronj
Tips to Succeed
  • Be prepared to work harder than you've ever had to.
  • Don't ever hesitate to ask questions if you don't understand what's going on.
  • Don't take any 8 a.m. classes unless you really have to.
  • Live near your friends senior year.
  • Pettigrew and Pettengill are two very different buildings.
  • Remember that your computer is for doing work, not just chatting on AIM, checking your e-mail and Facebook.
  • Take advantage of the small class sizes, and establish personal relationships with some of your professors.
  • Take at least one late-night trip up Mount David (from that distance, even Lewiston looks pretty).
  • Take classes that actually interest you.
Did You Know?
  • One of the most unique aspects of Bates is its calendar. The five-week spring Short Term enables students to focus on a single course, often one that they would not be able to take otherwise. Sample Short Term courses include: Roller Coasters (students study the mathematics behind roller coasters and visit theme parks), For the Love of Dogs (students read literature about dogs and visit dogs at animal shelters), Shakespeare in London (students spend two weeks on campus studying various Shakespeare plays and then travel to London, Canterbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Oxford for three weeks to see the plays and explore British culture).
  • During Short Term, the Student Activities Office runs an Experimental College, which consists of a variety of non-credit, extracurricular courses, such as bartending, yoga, ballroom dancing, knitting, and basic car mechanics.
  • Many Bates students also participate in service-learning programs. These include mentoring local children, developing community gardens with Lots to Gardens, or working with the Lewiston Housing Authority.

Student Polls

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 7 responses

Very poor
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 5 responses

Very poor
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants


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